Statement by Rebecca Oelkers – Chief Executive Officer, BHC

Tanya Lee Glover’s death has had a profound impact on BHC.

Our residents are the reason we exist and providing secure and affordable homes for society’s most vulnerable people drives our purpose for creating better housing outcomes.

Some of our residents come to us with complex needs that may include disability, a history of trauma or domestic violence, mental and physical health conditions, or challenges associated with drug and alcohol abuse.

Community housing is often their only safety net and, as a provider, these are the very real challenges we deal with.

We care deeply for the safety and wellbeing of our residents and provide compassionate tenancy management that extends beyond a traditional tenant / property manager relationship.

This may include linking our residents with service providers to foster community and economic participation, providing referrals to support services such as NDIS and mental health care, or fostering relationships with the Queensland Police Service.

These outreach services are accessed by residents at their own personal discretion.


BHC wins two National Housing Awards

We were incredibly proud to see key members of the BHC team recognised last night at the 2023 PowerHousing Australia National Awards!

BHC’s Construction Manager, Greg Coghlan received this the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’. For the past 19 years, Greg has overseen the development of the majority of our 2000 social and affordable homes. We are proud to see his longevity, commitment to the sector and steadfast dedication, recognised at this year’s awards.

Strategic Projects Manager, Elizabeth Kelso, won this year’s ‘Excellence in Customer Service and Business Support Award’. Elizabeth is the engine room behind many of BHC’s high impact customer service and business support initiatives. She brings a deep sense of mission, resident focus and collaboration to all her projects, and we are incredibly proud to see her contributions and achievements recognised last night.

Finally we couldn’t be more proud of the work our Rising Star nominee and Facilities Manager, David Musgrave. In an industry where a ‘one size fits all approach’ doesn’t cut it, David thrives on working out solutions to help our residents prosper providing long term housing outcomes for both current and future residents.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists at this year’s PowerHousing National Awards.

BHC Impact Fund assists more than 500 vulnerable households in Brisbane

In the midst of a crippling housing crisis, more than 500 low-income Brisbane households have received life-changing support from BHC’s Impact Fund, which has been outlined in the organisation’s 2022/23 Impact Report.

BHC Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Oelkers said the Impact Fund enabled 513 residents in the last financial year to receive assistance to sustain tenancies, enhance wellbeing, boost employment skills and create cohesive communities.

“We are proud to be making an impact by supporting our residents to reach their goals and to thrive within our BHC communities,” she said.

“Assistance includes targeted grants and programs that support employment and training, mental health and wellbeing, social inclusion and financial literacy.”

BHC commits a minimum of $150,000 annually to the Impact Fund, fuelled by the profits from its ‘profit for purpose’ real estate agency, Elevate Residential.

The real estate agency generates revenue from property sales commissions and property management fees, with 100% of profits being donated to BHC. (more…)

Grant to support health and wellbeing outcomes for vulnerable community housing residents

BHC will deliver vital health services to some of its most vulnerable community housing residents after receiving a grant from Brisbane City Council’s Pathways out of Homelessness Grant Program.

The $157,184 grant delivered over three years will support Brisbane Housing Company’s Home & Health program which will enable a mobile health clinic to be provided at some of the organisation’s key housing sites.

BHC has partnered with not-for-profit community housing developer and provider Bric Housing to deliver the Home & Health program with the goal of reducing health disparities among vulnerable residents and in turn support them to sustain their tenancies.

BHC and Bric have a combined portfolio of 2,750 social and affordable homes.

Professional outreach medical services provider OneBridge has been engaged to deliver the Home & Health program.


BHC wins 3 awards at the 2023 AHI Brighter Future Awards

The BHC team was pleased to attend the Australasian Housing Institute Brighter Futures awards breakfast this morning and we were thrilled to receive a number of awards during the ceremony, including:
  • Olivia Jackson, Tenancy Services Manager – Future Leader
  • Anthony Campbell, Resident Participation and Employment Coordinator (RPEC) – Inspirational Team Member
  • Coffee Connections (in partnership with YFS Substation33) – Leading Community Engagement Practice
We are incredibly proud of our winners, and the whole BHC team for the work they do every day to deliver excellence in social and affordable housing, and to support our residents and communities to thrive.

We also recognise our social purpose real estate agency, Elevate Residential for donating their profits to BHC’s Impact Fund, which makes our RPEC and Coffee Connections services possible.

Congratulations to the ahi for a fantastic event and to all the other nominees and winners- it was wonderful to join with colleagues to celebrate the passion, dedication and innovation across the Queensland community housing sector. We look forward to the national awards in October!


Delaying HAFF means delaying homes for vulnerable Queenslanders

As a developer of social and affordable housing and landlord to some of Queensland’s most vulnerable people, this week’s decision to postpone the debate on the Federal Government’s Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) legislation until 16 October is unfathomable.

We are at tipping point. We need to stop talking about solutions to the housing crisis and actually start delivering them and this postponement means the land, the plans, the partnerships and the real, tangible affordable homes that were in the pipeline will now experience further significant delays. Housing peak bodies estimate that the delivery of 8,000 homes could be delayed as a result of this postponement.

Most importantly, the 640,000 Australians currently living in housing stress cannot wait any longer. They are relying on partners to come together – government, community housing organisations, the property industry, and the investment sector. We hold the keys to their future, and without us, it doesn’t look bright.

The HAFF is a floor not a ceiling. It’s the scalable platform that can get the ball rolling – we need the unilateral support from our Elected Representatives to get this legislation passed.

Project 55- Supporting older women in housing need

BHC’s ‘profit for purpose’ real estate agency, Elevate Residential, have launched a unique initiative to sponsor access to safe and affordable housing for women over 55 facing homelessness. 

The campaign – Project 55 – aims to attract 55 new property owners to sign up with Elevate Residential over the coming 12 months, with 100 percent of the profits from property management fees they pay sponsoring older women in dire housing to achieve better housing outcomes.  

Project 55 will provide stable housing for women at BHC’s 11 unit property at Alford Street, New Farm. The units are currently undergoing refurbishment and will be ready for their new occupants in late 2023. 


BHC wins national housing award for partnership with QIC

BHC’s groundbreaking partnership with QIC has received national recognition, scooping PowerHousing Australia’s prestigious Business Partner Award at a ceremony in Canberra.

The partnership between BHC and QIC was established in 2021 to drive innovative solutions for the state’s housing crisis under the Queensland Government’s Housing Investment Fund, enabling the delivery of social and affordable housing at scale through institutional investment.


BHC moves forward with two new affordable housing projects

BHC has received planning approval from Brisbane City Council to deliver two new social and affordable housing projects in Chermside and Stones Corner.

Combined, the developments will provide 116 apartments, with construction expected to begin early 2023.

On Brisbane’s northside, the five-storey build-to-rent development on Ethel Street in Chermside will provide a mix of 34 one and two-bedroom apartments, close to local transport and major health and retail precincts.

Designed by award-winning Brisbane architectural group Ultralinea, the project will deliver an equal mix of 17 social and 17 affordable homes to cater specifically to the needs of low-income workers and people on the social housing register, who are at risk of homelessness.

In Stones Corner in Brisbane’s inner-south, BHC will deliver a mix of 82 studio, one and two-bedroom apartments on Cleveland Street. The 10-storey building, designed by award-winning Ellivo Architects, comprises 50 social and 32 affordable homes.


Statement from BHC Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Oelkers

BHC is acutely aware of the impact the housing crisis is having on Queenslanders. We operate at the heart of this challenge, and our sole daily purpose is to increase the supply of safe and affordable homes for Queenslanders in need.

As an independent charity, BHC has always worked hand in hand with our Ordinary Shareholders, the Queensland Government and the Brisbane City Council, and we continue to do so.

We have reached out to request a meeting with the Minister and the Lord Mayor to better understand their concerns relating to the proposed sale of our School Street complex in Kelvin Grove, which is currently rented to private market tenants.